The Jewish Chronicle - - Features - See JeSS robin­Son per­form

ALot of tal­ent, a bit of luck, and a “ridicu­lous” amount of chutz­pah have pro­pelled J ess robin­son on to primetime tele­vi­sion. At just 26, the im­pres­sion­ist has al­ready ap­peared in the BBC’s Dead Ringers show and voiced char­ac­ters on itv’s Head­cases. now she is ap­pear­ing, along­side Jon Cul­shaw and De­bra stephen­son, in The Cul­shaw and Stephen­son Show in a cov­eted satur­day night slot on BBC1.

Mil­lions of view­ers are likely to tune in to see robin­son mimic Clau­dia Win­kle­man, Jools oliver, Emma Wat­son and Mary Pop­pins — char­ac­ters she has added to a range that in­cludes every­one from Amy Wine­house to Hil­lary Clin­ton.

Cul­shaw de­scribes robin­son as “a real ris­ing star”, declar­ing that “her hy­per­ven­ti­lat­ing Clau­dia Win­kle­man has to be seen to be be­lieved”. Mean­while she speaks fondly of him: “He has been my men­tor — he’s re­ally taken me un­der his wing.”

De­bra stephen­son has also been the source of some use­ful ad­vice: “i re­mem­ber go­ing in for our first read-through and she asked what i wanted,” says robin­son. “i told her i’d like my own show like her, and she said: ‘Well, i’ve got 12 years on you so just keep go­ing’.”

the ex­change is typ­i­cal of the kind of con­fi­dence robin­son pos­sesses. “the chutz­pah is ridicu­lous,” she ad­mits. “i am­so­pushy some­times i need to know when to stop. i hope i’m not ir­ri­tat­ing, but i think i am! it comes from not tak­ing no for an an­swer and think­ing: ‘oh well, if no one’s go­ing to write a show for me, i’ll write it my­self’.”

robin­son ac­knowl­edges that her ex­treme chutz­pah may have some­thing to do with her back­ground. Al­though from a non­re­li­gious fam­ily, she is proud of her roots — and cul­tur­ally feels very Jewish. “our fam­ily are very close. We like to get to­gether a lot and have a nosh,” she says.

Born in Edg­ware, robin­son is the daugh­ter of a pi­ano teacher and artist, and grand­daugh­ter of the late jazz pi­anist, Jules ruben. she al­ways seemed des­tined for a show­biz ca­reer. As a teenager she at­tended the Arts Ed­u­ca­tional school, hop­ing to

Jess Robin­son as Clau­dia Win­kle­man

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